Rapping Dorchester gang leader gets nine years in federal prison

A federal judge last week sentenced NOB gang leader Michael "G Fredo" Brandao, 22, to nine years in prison for his guilty plea to RICO charges.

Federal prosecutors had asked for 12 years, saying that even after Brandao was arrested as part of a gang sweep in 2020, he kept making YouTube videos promoting the gang and its violence - as recently as two weeks ago, months after he had agreed to plead guilty - and that he tried from his jail cell to get remaining gang members on the outside to beat up the music manager helping with Brandao's rap career "to recover money Defendant believed was his."

Brandao was among more than a dozen members of the Norton/Olney/Barry Gang, also known as the Head Shot Mafia, rounded up in June, 2020 on both general RICO charges and more specifically murder, armed robbery, drugs, prostitution and the unintentional kidnapping of a 5-year-old girl.

The fed say Brando himself tried but failed to kill somebody and was involved in a car theft turned kidnapping when gang members stole a man's car as he was getting some takeout on Dorchester Avenue and it turned out his young daughter was in the car. Gang members released her, unharmed, in Randolph.

Brandao pleaded guilty last April. In a sentencing memorandum to US District Court Judge Leo Sorokin, prosecutors said that even with his admission of guilt, Brandao deserved a long sentence, because of what NOB's activities had done to the community in general, because of Brandao's role, not just in participating in them directly, but for actively promoting violence - and a war against the Cameron Street Gang in particular - in a series of rap videos posted to YouTube. They also said he had shown no true remorse.

[T]he NOB gang's criminal activities harmed numerous victims through violent crimes (including murders, shootings, robberies and assaults), drug trafficking (particularly the trafficking of fentanyl), and sex trafficking activities. NOB's actions also contributed to increased gang-related violence that plagued the Dorchester area of Boston, as well as other communities. Not only was Defendant involved in various criminal activities, he was a leading figure in the gang, publicly promoting the gang's violence and its conflicts with rivals, thus fueling a cycle of ongoing violent conflict between NOB and rival gangs – a cycle that spilled violence onto the streets of numerous communities, particularly Dorchester.

Moreover, Defendant's gang-related activities did not cease when he was arrested on state charges in May 2020 and held in custody to the present date. As discussed below, in a recorded jail call in June 2020, Defendant actively enlisted NOB gang members/associates (who were not incarcerated) to assault Defendant's music manager to recover money Defendant believed was his. ... Defendant has also continued to produce and distribute NOB gang-related rap recordings despite his pending RICO conspiracy conviction arising out his involvement in NOB. For example, Defendant released a recording as recently as on or about January 13, 2023, in which Defendant boasts about his NOB gang membership – the very racketeering entity at the heart of this case. These recordings, along with other circumstances, support that Defendant is not seeking to distance himself from his criminal past, but rather to carry on despite his conviction and impending sentencing.

The memorandum includes some of the lyrics from the video Brandao had posted two weeks ago:

"In this song, 'Win,' Defendant repeatedly reaffirms his gang membership ('HSM NOB sh*t...got so much love for the gang') and boasts about shootings ('we gonna break out them sticks [firearms] when it's play time, b*tch you got Glocks we gon[na] show 'em how they sound...if you ain't shooting n***a stop talkin'). "

The memorandum details other videos Brandao had posted both before and after his arrest that feature similar messages - along with recreations of murders by NOB members - and concludes:

"Through his recordings and videos, Defendant has consistently and actively promoted the NOB gang and the violence it committed, boasted about his personal participation in such violence, and threatened rivals, and has not stopped doing so even after being arrested in this case."

Other members of the gang are already serving sentences.

Prosecutors say the gang arose out of violence around the murder of Bobby Mendes in 1995.

Government sentencing recommendation (202k PDF).
Summary of NOB's illegal activities (1.8M PDF).


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